Best and Worst Major Interchange Stations

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swt_passenger

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A few posts have mentioned confusion at Waverley because of the (implied recent) renumbering, but didn‘t that last happen in about 2006? In the last few years Platforms 5 and 6 were added, and P12 extended, but that shouldn’t have really caused actual confusion?
 

nickw1

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I can't see that anything can be done at New St. - it is very much constrained by its location. Gatwick Airport station has the same problem to a lesser extent. However it is still an unpleasant place to change trains.

If railways and this forum are still around in 2121 or even 3021, I'm sure people will still be complaining about New St. being unfit for purpose then...

New Street was better before the confusing rebuild though. Never got lost at New Street before they did that, now (don't go that way so often, but when I do go...) the 'ticket barrier' thing is a source of confusion.
 

D6130

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Best interchange is Bakerloo to Jubilee at Baker Street, just a short straight walk.
Likewise Bakerloo to Victoria, or vice-versa, at Oxford Circus. I can't understand why TfL's official journey planner advises passengers travelling from Kings Cross to Waterloo, or vv, to change onto the Northern Line at Leicester Square.
 

WesternBiker

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Not yet mentioned: Woking also seems fairly convenient to interchange. Shelter, short walks, easy signage, etc. Admittedly I've never needed to change to/from the slow Waterloo metro services there - maybe my opinion would be a bit different if I did need to.
I often have to change at Woking from the terminating stopper at platform 3, and then get to platform 5. With luggage, it feels like a heck of a trek! Similarly I've been caught out at Gloucester: crossing from platform 4 to platform 1 can feel like walking to the ends of the earth, if you have luggage (and it's raining - the 'shelter' providing minimal protection if it is windy).

The other I try to avoid is Stratford.

I find Clapham Junction easy because of the bridge (less so if you alight at the subway end, which gets horribly crowded), and I like the new London Bridge - though getting out of the station via the right exit is less intuitive!
 
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Another vote for Stratford, confusing layout (where the hell is platform 10A) and poor facilities on the platforms and in the station.
 

AlbertBeale

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Best interchange is Bakerloo to Jubilee at Baker Street, just a short straight walk.

Surely it depends which end of the train you're at? In one direction, don't the lines diverge a lot, and only have a short cross-platform connection at one end?

Likewise Bakerloo to Victoria, or vice-versa, at Oxford Circus. I can't understand why TfL's official journey planner advises passengers travelling from Kings Cross to Waterloo, or vv, to change onto the Northern Line at Leicester Square.

Perhaps a historical hangover from pre-Victoria Line days?!? And it does "look" the most direct on the tube map, so perhaps it's thought that people would get confused if they weren't offered the most "obvious" route? Even though the interchange en route is not so easy.

And I guess the reason that some computerised systems suggest Jubilee Line - Green Park - Victoria Line (which seems a silly and slower route to me) is because the number of station stops is least that way; ignoring all the other factors that a human being is aware of.
 
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Dr Hoo

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Doesn’t Waterloo-King’s Cross via Green Park provide a better ‘level+all lifts’ route, albeit with longer ‘walks’?
 

DynamicSpirit

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Likewise Bakerloo to Victoria, or vice-versa, at Oxford Circus. I can't understand why TfL's official journey planner advises passengers travelling from Kings Cross to Waterloo, or vv, to change onto the Northern Line at Leicester Square.

Just tried it - and I would assume the reason is because of a lower time spent on the train: According to the journey planner, Kings X to Leicester Square = 6 minutes, Leicester Square to Waterloo = 3 minutes, total 9 minutes. Changing at Oxford Circus, it's 5 minutes on the Victoria Line then 7 minutes on the Bakerloo line, total 12 minutes. I would imagine that's easily enough to cancel out any extra time spent walking between platforms at Leicester Square. (And that is of course assuming that the journey planner is aware of the particularly convenient interchange at Oxford Circus - which would imply that TfL has taken the significant effort to work out typical walking times between every different combination of platforms. Maybe they have, but I'm not sure?)
 

Halifaxlad

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I don't think it has got any two platforms the same length, numerous bays in various locations, most of them are curving this way or that and quite a few are on a lower level to complicate things even more.

It really wants straightening out with a massive rolling pin!
 

Llandudno

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New Street is, by far, the worst. Not just for interchange but also for finding the right exit. A combination of poor signage and layout.

St Pancras also gets an honourable mention for levels of convolution required to transfer between the various groups of platforms and its poor signage. Indeed, the overall experience is of being in a shopping centre with a few trains tacked on as an afterthought.

For the good I'd have to say Glasgow Central for its (excepting Argyle line) easy level access to all platforms and overall ambience. No chance of getting lost there.
Every time I use New Street (admittedly only a few times per year) to change trains I always seem to find a different way of exiting the station to try and find the excellent Post Office Vaults!
 

Mordac

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Every time I use New Street (admittedly only a few times per year) to change trains I always seem to find a different way of exiting the station to try and find the excellent Post Office Vaults!
I really used to struggle with this, although after living in Birmingham for a while and needing to use different exits I'm a bit better at it.

Unless I've been at the post office vaults for a bit too long. ;)
 

Llandudno

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I really used to struggle with this, although after living in Birmingham for a while and needing to use different exits I'm a bit better at it.

Unless I've been at the post office vaults for a bit too long. ;)
I think I passed through the ticket barriers 3 times last night to get from the platform to the pub!

Beer excellent as usual but a bit pricey for a tucked away non trendy basement bar at £4.10 a pint for a 3.6% golden ale!
 

AndrewE

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Leeds,

I don't think it has got any two platforms the same length, numerous bays in various locations, most of them are curving this way or that and quite a few are on a lower level to complicate things even more.

It really wants straightening out with a massive rolling pin!
Most of those things don't make using it any more difficult - in fact none of them do - but I do agree that you have to watch out for signs to get the right section of a platform.
 

Neptune

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I don't think it has got any two platforms the same length, numerous bays in various locations, most of them are curving this way or that and quite a few are on a lower level to complicate things even more.

It really wants straightening out with a massive rolling pin!
The problem with trying to straighten out Leeds and making all platforms on the same level would be that the whole station would need closing for a considerable amount of time either all in one go or piecemeal.

Many stations have curved platforms of varying lengths, try Newcastle Central and Bristol Temple Meads for instance. Platforms 0-3 are at a slightly lower level but the slopes to them are hardly steep. This is just the geography of the station. To alter these to make them more OCD friendly would not be worth the time, effort and most of all disruption to probably end up with the same amount of capacity.

The only alteration that I think would be worthwhile without disrupting the whole station would be to join platforms 13&14 together to create a 7th through road.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Maybe Farringdon should have an honourable mention. It's not confusing to anything like the degree of New Street or Stratford - I mean it's only got 4 platforms arranged side by side and I don't think it'd be possible to make such a simple platform arrangement all that confusing. But Farringdon makes a pretty good attempt with its maze of bridges across the platforms, with not all bridges going to all platforms, one of them heading off at a strange diagonal angle, and then the wall with its occasional gaps between platforms 2 and 3 (presumably forced by the slight height difference between the tracks).
 

Robertj21a

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New Street is, by far, the worst. Not just for interchange but also for finding the right exit. A combination of poor signage and layout.

St Pancras also gets an honourable mention for levels of convolution required to transfer between the various groups of platforms and its poor signage. Indeed, the overall experience is of being in a shopping centre with a few trains tacked on as an afterthought.

For the good I'd have to say Glasgow Central for its (excepting Argyle line) easy level access to all platforms and overall ambience. No chance of getting lost there.
Well said, I could have easily posted exactly the same words.
 

AlbertBeale

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...

St Pancras also gets an honourable mention for levels of convolution required to transfer between the various groups of platforms and its poor signage. Indeed, the overall experience is of being in a shopping centre with a few trains tacked on as an afterthought.

...

Dishonourable mention, more like! At the time of the redevelopment, it was no secret that the commercial/shopping aspects were driving many details of the plan, rather than prioritising the transport infrastructure.
 

Bletchleyite

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I find St. Pancras disorientating, like a maze.

I find it a nice enough place to be, but it isn't great as a transport interchange. I don't mind it though.

It does however need decent toilets. I've never quite understood why station (and motorway services) toilets are invariably dingy and smelly - all they really need to sort the issue is bigger fans so the air is exchanged often enough to remove the smells and circulates enough in cubicles.
 

BayPaul

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I don't like the departures boards at St Pancras. Because it is set up as 4 basically independent stations, the departure boards are as well, so it is awkward to find the next train if you don't know how the system works, and to stations like Luton, you need to check two separate boards to work out your next departure.

Oh, and their positioning is not great - I don't mind the new layout of the station, having departure boards so well hidden away is... odd
 

Grumpy Git

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I've used St Pancras maybe half a dozen times for the E*. I still have no idea of the layout of the place and the first time I used it I was totally lost for a while. It does make you wonder who designs these things.

Like a poster upthread, I suspect there is some truth in the "direct the punters to the shops" theory, just like at UK airports with the obligatory conga dance through "Duty Free".
 
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DynamicSpirit

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St Pancras also gets an honourable mention for levels of convolution required to transfer between the various groups of platforms and its poor signage. Indeed, the overall experience is of being in a shopping centre with a few trains tacked on as an afterthought.

To add to that, you have the horrendous noise levels on the Thameslink Platform, and the way if you're transferring to/from the Northbound Thameslink platform and need to use the lifts for any reason, you have to use two different lifts to get between the concourse and the Thameslink platform, and probably a 3rd lift to get to the elevated platform you're interchanging from/to.
 

Mordac

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I think I passed through the ticket barriers 3 times last night to get from the platform to the pub!

Beer excellent as usual but a bit pricey for a tucked away non trendy basement bar at £4.10 a pint for a 3.6% golden ale!
That tucked away basement bar feel a couple of minutes away from New Street is included in the price though! ;) It's a Birmingham institution and I'm happy to pay a bit more to support it. Was really worried they wouldn't have survived the pandemic.
 

Grumpy Git

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That tucked away basement bar feel a couple of minutes away from New Street is included in the price though! ;) It's a Birmingham institution and I'm happy to pay a bit more to support it. Was really worried they wouldn't have survived the pandemic.

I must give this place a try next time I have a wait at New St.

Does anyone know of a decent bar at Crewe? I have a 5 minute wait there at the end of the month!!!
 

Jimini

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What’s the name of the pub at New Street? I’m in Brum at the moment having a recce. Might have a quick pit stop on the way home.. ;)
 

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